[leer-uh; Italian lee-rah]
noun, plural lire [leer-ey; Italian lee-re] , liras.
a coin and monetary unit of Italy until the euro was adopted, equal to 100 centesimi. Abbreviation: L., Lit.
a monetary unit of Malta, San Marino, and the Vatican City until the euro was adopted.
a silver, bronze, or chrome steel coin and monetary unit of Turkey, equal to 100 kurus; equal to 100 piasters before 1933; Turkish pound. Abbreviation: TL.

1610–20; < Italian < Old Provençal lieura < Latin lībra pound Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lira (ˈlɪərə, Italian ˈliːra)
n , pl lire, liras
1.  the former standard monetary unit of Italy, San Marino, and the Vatican City, divided into 100 centesimi; replaced by the euro in 2002
2.  Also called: pound the standard monetary unit of Turkey, divided into 100 kuruş
3.  the former standard monetary unit of Malta, divided into 100 cents or 1000 mils; replaced by the euro in 2008
[Italian, from Latin lībra pound]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

It. monetary unit, 1617, from It. lira, lit. "pound," from L. libra (see Libra).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


the former monetary unit of Italy and the currency of modern Turkey and Malta

Learn more about lira with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Nobody wants to go back to the drachma, escudo or lira.
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